Prospect Plaza is a mixed-use affordable housing redevelopment project spread over five buildings and three blocks in Brooklyn’s Ocean Hill–Brownsville neighborhood. The $200 million project is replacing a former New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) complex with a mix of nearly 400 public housing and affordable rental apartments, retail space, and community and recreational facilities designed to support resident health in a rapidly developing area with significant public health challenges.
Blue Dot Place, the first multi-unit residential building constructed in downtown Colorado Springs since 1960, includes 33 one- and two-bedroom apartments above retail space that houses a local coffee shop and entrepreneurial center.
Amsterdam has long been recognized as one of the world’s great bicycling cities, and for good reason—the city is home to more bikes than people and a higher percentage of trips within the city are made by bike than by car. While Amsterdam residents have long had a history of cycling to meet their daily needs, a cultural preference for two-wheeled transportation alone does not explain why the city so vastly outpaces its peers in nearly every measure of bicycle use. Instead, over the past half-century, local advocates, elected officials, and other stakeholders have worked to reverse the city’s post–World War II embrace of the automobile by crafting bike-friendly policies and directing funding toward infrastructure that makes meeting one’s daily transportation needs by bike a safe, convenient, and even obvious choice.
A bright white “side-scraper” stretches three-tenths of a mile along the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles, sandwiched between railroad yards and the river on one side and the city’s burgeoning loft district on the other. This structure is One Santa Fe, whose 510,000 square feet of space includes 438 apartments (88 of which are affordable units), as well as 78,620 square feet of retail and office space. The development, located on a narrow parking lot leased from a transit authority, was built using $165 million in public and private housing and commercial financing. Surrounding One Santa Fe’s internal pedestrian promenade is an eclectic mix of retailers, including both local convenience businesses and regional specialty shops that complement the neighborhood’s artistic and creative energy.
Kashiwa, a city with a land area of 115 square kilometers (44 sq mi) and a population of just over 400,000, is in Chiba Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo in Japan’s Kanto region. Though home to companies in food processing and other industries, as well as a professional soccer team, it is now best known as the home of Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City. Currently being developed on 273 hectares (675 ac) in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City was launched in 2005 with the opening of Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station on the Tsukuba Express train line. The land is divided into 299 parcels, to be subdivided further into blocks with interconnecting streets and pathways. Initial development is taking place in parcels 147, 148, 149, 150, and 151. This 42-hectare (104 ac) group of parcels extends outward from Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station and encompasses the University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus, Chiba University Kashiwa-no-ha Campus, Kashiwa-no-ha Park, and industrial areas.
Accessible from Tokyo in less than an hour by train, Kashiwa-no-ha is an area rich in natural beauty as well as the home of a concentration of academic and research institutions. Creation of the grand design for the project was from the beginning a collaborative endeavor, with Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa, the University of Tokyo, and Chiba University involved in the planning and deliberation.
Streets have played a major role in the development of College Park, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown Orlando, Florida. The neighborhood’s Princeton, Harvard, and Yale streets influenced the naming of the city’s first subdivision and eventually the naming of the neighborhood.
Beginning in 1999, local stakeholders gave College Park a new identity by transforming Edgewater Drive, its main street. The four-lane road was extremely unsafe; it carried more than 20,000 speeding motorists per day, and it experienced crashes nearly every three days and injuries every nine days. Because the road also contained limited space for sidewalks, bike lanes, and streetscape, the city of Orlando implemented a lane reduction—or “road diet”—to regain space for pedestrians and bicyclists. Since the project’s implementation, Edgewater Drive has become a noticeably healthier and safer street. Traffic speeds and the number of crashes have been reduced, and both the volume and satisfaction of pedestrians and bicyclists have increased.
Euclid Avenue in Cleveland is celebrated in the city’s history as the turn-of-the-20th-century home to John D. Rockefeller and other prominent American businessmen. However, as development pressure and Cleveland’s population increased, Euclid Avenue’s luxury homes gave way to parking lots and shopping centers.
Beginning in the 1970s, local leaders set out to reestablish the corridor as a major transportation and economic development link by implementing a new transit system along the avenue. Seeking to connect the city’s two largest commercial districts—downtown and University Circle— Cleveland stakeholders voted to establish a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in 1998. Known as the HealthLine, the BRT has both improved connectivity and attracted new development to the area since its completion in 2008.
In strategic partnerships with state and federal agencies, local stakeholders—including the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (Cleveland’s regional planning agency)—completed the project for a total investment cost of $200 million. The three goals guiding the development were to (1) improve service and efficiency for customers, (2) promote economic and community development along and adjacent to the line, and (3) improve quality of life for residents and visitors of the corridor and for area employees.
The first-tier suburban city of Shoreline, just north of Seattle, began its ambitious redevelopment of the heavily used Aurora Avenue North corridor just three years after the city’s incorporation in 1995. Before reconstruction, Aurora Avenue North was an automobile-centric highway featuring gas stations, shopping centers, convenience stores, adult clubs, and tobacco and alcohol stores. The four-lane road had an average of 40,000 to 45,000 vehicles and 7,000 bus riders per day and one of the highest crash rates in the state, at nearly one per day and one fatality per year.
The city knew that the redevelopment of Aurora would take a long-term commitment, and for the next 18 years, Shoreline worked to address land use and safety issues and to improve the conditions of the corridor and the surrounding neighborhoods. The three-mile project was completed without debt in 2016 using a mix of 21 different funding sources, including Shoreline’s capital improvement program as well as county, state, and federal funding.
Via6 is a 654-unit mixed-use apartment complex spanning an entire city block of downtown Seattle, Washington. Developer Pine Street Group LLC and designers GGLO and Hewitt created this two-tower development as a “vertical neighborhood” of residential, leisure, and commercial spaces in an area formerly devoid of housing and street life.
The central location of Via6 ensures walkable access to a major transit hub, ground-floor retail, and carsharing services. The numerous amenities and facilities of Via6 itself aim to promote social interaction and physical activity. The ViaBike Club and the Velo Bike Shop are located on-site to provide residents and visitors with a bicycle washing station, a storage facility, lockers, showers, mechanic classes, stands, tools, and a bicycle lending service. An eighteen-foot chronograph in the lobby and two in-house event coordinators facilitate social events for residents to meet their neighbors. This LEED Gold certified building also features a green roof pavilion with indoor and outdoor gathering and barbeque spaces, rain water collection and irrigation, motion-detected lighting and climate controls, a ground-floor theater area, and a mezzanine with a fitness center, a game room, and communal lounges. Via6 remains, to date, the largest private development in Seattle’s history and has received commendation as a 2014 Urban Land Institute Global Awards of Excellence finalist, a 2014 high rise project of the year merit award from the Multi-Family Executive, and a 2013 Multi-Family Development of the Year from NAIOP Washington State.
At Mariposa, an affordable housing redevelopment project located southwest of downtown Denver and redeveloped by the Denver Housing Authority, physical activity is encouraged through thoughtful design and programming choices. Located adjacent to a new light-rail station, Mariposa encourages the use of active transportation options with a bike-sharing program and supportive classes, and the community center features an attractive, interactive internal staircase and lots of programming to get people moving.